Chase Utley is expected to join the Phillies for pregame workouts Saturday and, if all goes well, could head to Clearwater next week to step up his preparation for a return to game action.

A chronic knee condition kept Utley out of spring training games. He has spent the last month working with a physical therapist in Arizona. Utley worked out with teammates last week in Phoenix and reported that his condition had improved.

Once in Florida, Utley will pick up the pace on getting ready for baseball action. Ryan Howard is also rehabbing in Clearwater. He is expected to start swinging a bat next week.

Both Utley and Howard can get at-bats in a controlled setting in extended spring training games once they are ready for that.

There is no timetable for either player's return.